Energy Production and Cardiovascular Health!

EnergyI was going through some storage bins over the weekend and came across this crazy drawing of energy production you see on the left. It’s from my biochemistry class in college, and it has a direct application to cardiovascular health. In fact, once you understand it you will realize how important good circulation is to your health and your ability to produce energy.

It looks pretty confusing but let me help you understand it by asking you a very simple question:

If You Had a Stock Option That Paid You a Return of 2% or 36% Which Would You Choose?

Every person I’ve ever asked this question to always chooses 36%. Why? Because it returns a higher yield. Well, this is the difference in energy production between anaerobic respiration and aerobic respiration.

Anaerobic Respiration – Energy Production Without Oxygen!

The top half of this drawing represents the energy production achieved by anaerobic respiration. As your blood filters through the liver, glucose (blood sugar) is added to your blood stream. This is carried to your cells to be converted into energy. When your cell lacks oxygen it uses a chemical process called anaerobic respiration to convert the glucose into energy. It’s extremely inefficient and the net result is just 2 units of energy.

Plus it produces a byproduct called pyruvic acid. If oxygen is not present then the cell converts this pyruvic acid to lactic acid. This allows the cell to continue to produce a small quantity of energy. However, lactic acid is an irritant. It causes that burning sensation you feel when you’ve overused a muscle and it interferes with proper cell function.

The net result of anaerobic respiration is poor energy production and a large amount of waste material that disrupts the proper function of the cells, tissues, and organs.

Aerobic Respiration – Energy Production With Oxygen!

When oxygen is present the pyruvic acid will enter the mitochondria of your cells to be used in the Kreb’s cycle. (If you think this drawing is confusing and crazy you should see the drawing for the Kreb’s cycle.) Think of your mitochondria as an energy producing factory.

This process will take that one unit of glucose and convert it into 36 units of energy. This is 18 times more productive than anaerobic respiration. Plus, the waste products are carbon dioxide and water. You breath out carbon dioxide and you eliminate any excess water. Neither of these two waste products damage your cells, tissues, and organs.

While aerobic respiration can cause oxidative stress to cells, the net result is large energy production with waste material that is not disruptive to the proper functioning of your cells, tissues, and organs.

Government versus Private Sector

Some have even compared this process of energy production to the difference between government run programs and private sector programs. Anaerobic respiration, like the government, is very inefficient and produces only a small return on investment; 1 unit of glucose yields 2 units of energy with bureaucratic red tape that can clog and slow down the system.

Aerobic respiration, like the private sector, is very efficient and produces a large return on investment; 1 unit of glucose yields 36 units of energy with an assembly line that is highly productive but also needs proper maintenance to continue its accelerated production.

What Does All This Have To Do With Cardiovascular Health?

Your red blood cells carry oxygen to your tissues and cells. If your cardiovascular system is damaged by cholesterol, excess sugar that causes oxidative stress, plaque formations, and other contributing factors, then you begin to limit blood flow. This damage limits the delivery of oxygen and causes your cells to depend more on anaerobic respiration for their energy needs.

Because anaerobic respiration can’t keep up with the needs of the cells, the cells have to slow down. They become less efficient and sluggish in their job. Compound this with the waste products produced from anaerobic respiration and you have a cycle that leads to poor organ health and poor overall wellness.

The Key to Reversing This Cycle!

The key to reversing this degenerating cycle is to improve blood circulation by repairing the damage caused to the endothelial cells that line all of your cardiovascular system. As you improve the health of your endothelial cells they are able to properly produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system. This means that nitric oxide is needed to properly regulate blood flow to the cells, tissues, and organs.

This dramatically improves blood flow, which then delivers more oxygen. More oxygen produces more energy and waste products that are easily transported away from the cells, tissues, and organs. The net result is improved organ function, improved energy, and a higher level of overall wellness.

By properly combining the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline with key antioxidants you can repair your endothelial cells and improve their ability to create nitric oxide. This has been clinically shown to improve circulation and reverse many cardiovascular health issues. It’s what makes the ProArgi-9 Plus product so effective in helping people improve their energy production and cardiovascular health.

It’s pretty amazing how improved blood flow to all your cells, tissues, and organs can make such a significant difference in your overall health. But, there is still one other factor we need to address. That factor is the need for antioxidants to help protect your cells when oxygen is used to create all this wonderful energy. We’ll talk about this in my next post.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer is a Wellness Educator who has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicago area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this article about energy production and cardiovascular health has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

The Need for L-Citrulline!

L-CitrullineWhat’s a picture of a watermelon have to do with L-citrulline? I’ll answer that in a little bit. Let’s first start with nitric oxide and L-arginine.

So much of the buzz about improved nitric oxide production centers on L-arginine. Unfortunately, many forget about L-citrulline. While L-arginine is the main amino acid used by the endothelial cells to create nitric oxide, some feel that L-citrulline is actually more important for long term nitric oxide production and improved cardiovascular health.

I bring this to your attention because I’m in the process of developing an educational module designed to help those with sickle cell anemia. One complication for those who have sickle cell anemia is the negative effects of the enzyme arginase.

Arginase is an enzyme located primarily in the liver. It is used to help complete the fifth and final step in the urea cycle. This urea cycle helps your body dispose of harmful ammonia. It is also found in the kidneys and prostate. Some research indicates that arginase is located in the mitochondria of most cells. The mitochondria are the portions of your cells that produce the bulk of your energy.

Arginase and Circulation!

While arginase has a useful role in the body it can also play a negative role in circulation. Why? Because arginase destroys L-arginine. Your endothelial cells convert the amino acid L-arginine to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is the master signaling molecule of your cardiovascular system. It regulates blood pressure, helps to improve blood flow, keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together, prevents LDL cholesterol from adhering to the vascular walls and is a factor in a host of other very important health issues.

Everyone carries arginase in their bloodstream which can have some affect on lowering nitric oxide production. This is a bigger problem in the African American community especially for those with sickle cell disease. Thankfully, your body has an alternative pathway that enables the endothelial cells to create nitric oxide. It’s through the amino acid L-citrulline.

How Important is L-citrulline?

Well, let me introduce you to Dr. Louis J. Ignarro to answer that question. Dr. Ignarro is the 1998 Nobel Laureate in Medicine. He, and two other American researchers, were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery of how the endothelial cells create nitric oxide (NO) from the essential amino acid L-arginine. In Dr. Ignarro’s book, NO More Heart Disease, he makes the following statement:

My research shows that if you take only L-arginine, which is the dominant producer of NO, you will not receive the maximum benefit. I have found that by including the synergistic partner L-citrulline, your ability to boost NO production is greatly enhanced over the effects of L-arginine alone.”

Your endothelial cells use an alternative pathway to convert L-citrulline to nitric oxide. This helps bypass the arginase enzyme so that good nitric oxide production can be restored. Plus, L-citrulline provides a 24 to 36 hour window for enhanced nitric oxide production whereas L-arginine by itself usually only has a 30 minute to 2 hour window of enhanced nitric oxide production.

This means that L-arginine can help start the process of nitric oxide production to improve circulation. Then the L-citrulline can take over to continue the improved nitric oxide production helping to maintain improved circulation.

Dr. Ignarro goes on to say, “Any supplement program that does not contain L-citrulline and antioxidants to augment the L-arginine – and most on the market do not – is missing out on a major piece of the potential of NO to improve your cardiovascular health.” This statement and the information I shared so far leads to two important questions:

What foods contain L-arginine and L-citrulline?

Is it better to get these critical amino acids through food or supplementation?

I’m preparing two new videos to help answers these questions and to visibly show you the best and most effective method for enhanced nitric oxide production. But the first question brings me back to the picture of the watermelon.

The Watermelon!

In March of 2007 there was a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. The article was entitled “Watermelon consumption increases plasma arginine concentrations in adults.” This article created a significant buzz on the internet because L-arginine is needed to produce nitric oxide which is needed for a male erection. In the media, watermelon became the new and natural Viagra. While this study didn’t examine the effects on male anatomy it did provide some very important information confirming the body’s ability to convert L-citrulline to L-arginine to improve nitric oxide production.

The study subjects were given either 780 grams (equivalent of 1 g of citrulline) of watermelon or 1560 grams (equivalent of 2 g of citrulline) of watermelon. The study lasted three weeks. At the end of the study the 780 grams of watermelon group saw a 12% increase in fasting plasma arginine concentrations. The 1560 grams of watermelon group saw a 22% increase when compared to a control group that received no watermelon.

This clearly shows that your body has an alternative pathway for creating the necessary L-arginine from the amino acid L-citrulline.

So, is eating watermelon an effective way to improve nitric oxide production?

Well, the 780 grams of watermelon is equal to 1.72 pounds. The 1560 grams of watermelon is equal to 3.43 pounds. That’s a lot of watermelon to eat even if you like it. Plus, it includes the rind, that thick green outer covering of the watermelon. I believe there’s an easier way to achieve an even better result. I’ll show you in one of my upcoming videos.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.
The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this article about L-Citrulline has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.